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Published on October 5th, 2017 | by James Ayre


GM’s Self-Driving Test Vehicles Involved In 6 Crashes During September

October 5th, 2017 by  

Self-driving vehicles from GM’s Cruise Automation were involved in a total of 6 auto crashes in California during the month of September, the company has reported to regulators in California.

Notably, though, all of these auto crashes are the result of other vehicles, with GM’s self-driving cars being responsible for none of them … if the company is to be believed.

If these figures are accurate, then they do go to show the potential of self-driving cars and also their limitations — while they may not directly cause crashes all that often, they certainly don’t seem to be capable (so far) of avoiding them either.

Also noteworthy here is that none of the accidents involved any injuries or serious damages. California law requires that those testing self-driving vehicles report all accidents regardless of severity.

“Most of the crashes involved drivers of other vehicles striking the GM cars that were slowing for stop signs, pedestrian or other issues. In one crash, a driver of a Ford Ranger was on his cell phone when he rear-ended a Chevrolet Bolt that was stopped at a red light,” Reuters notes. “In another instance, the driver of a Chevrolet Bolt noticed an intoxicated cyclist in San Francisco going the wrong direction toward the Bolt. The human driver stopped the Bolt and the cyclist hit the bumper and fell over. The bicyclist pulled on a sensor attached to the vehicle causing minor damage.

“In another incident on September 15 in San Francisco, a Dodge Charger in the left-turn lane attempted to illegally pass a Bolt in driverless mode. The GM Cruise employee took control of the vehicle and the Dodge scraped the front sensor and fled the scene without stopping.”

Altogether, GM/Cruise self-driving cars have now been in 13 crashes this year, all of which were reportedly caused by the other party. This compares to a figure of just 3 for Waymo/Google (crashes so far in 2017).



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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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